noun: proximity  nearness in space, time, or relationship

On a hot, muggy evening in May I made my very first trip to Swansea town centre six months after moving here. It had become a bit of a joke, then a challenge to see how long I could go without going into town but, when Cinema & Co announced the UK premier of Taylor Steele’s Proximity I had to give in. People clearly  got pretty excited about this film and it sold out quickly, Cinema & Co had to release standing tickets to accommodate the demand.

On arrival I was surprised to see what  looked a like a shop front rather than a cinema. The little bar area was full to bursting  and boiling hot, the crowd spilled out onto the street. It’s quite a bizarre thing to see people you have  only  ever seen in the water in a different context, familiar faces become unfamiliar because they are not attached to neoprene clad bodies. Surfers  in the city and shock, horror in  clothes  with dry hair!  A door to the side of the bar opened and we waddled into the cinema  like a line of,  squashed, sweaty penguins.  I loved it as soon as I walked in, with it’s cushion strewn seating made from pallets and  fairy lights dotted about the place.


The synopsis from the official website says

“Taylor Steele presents, PROXIMITY, a visceral portrait of modern surfing. The film follows eight of the world’s best surfers – four legends and four rising stars – as they search for new waves and deeper understanding in exotic destinations. PROXIMITY features the most prodigious collection of surfing talent on the planet. From 11-time world champion Kelly Slater and current champ John Florence, to big wave icon Shane Dorian and breakthrough performer Albee Layer, these are the definitive talents from every aspect of the sport. Six-time women’s champ Stephanie Gilmore, radical activist Dave Rastovich, and style masters Rob Machado and Craig Anderson complete the cast.”

Watching surfing on the big screen with big sound is always a treat but, the style and feel  of Proximity presented a slightly different and welcome take on the often adrenaline fueled, loud, action packed surf films made by the brands. Proximity feels like a calm, gentle, flow rather than an adrenaline driven raging torrent and while this might not appeal to everyone , it did to me. With a slight art house feel to it Proximity focuses on 4 pairs of surfers in different locations around the world as they converse, banter and surf together. The film is quiet yet  it leaves an impression, it’s funny at times yet  thought provoking. The final message of Proximity from  narrator Gerry Lopez is that in world where the ever increasing demands of modern life leave us with little time we must live in the moment, we must make the  time and create  opportunities  to be  in Proximity to our passions and what drives us. Perhaps this is why I connected with the film,  my recent relocation had put me in proximity to the coast and the surf.


Aside from the film, I really took to this little cinema, it feels like a secret club, a speakeasy, with a secret door through to a whole world of films, destinations and stories.  From the funky furniture in the bar to the delicious cakes and super comfy cinema seating Cinema & Co is a unique venue well worth a visit.  A week after Proximity I was back again for a screening of the absolute classic that is The Endless Summer and no doubt I’ll be back again soon. perhaps for Church of the Open Sky on Friday June 16th, trailer here CLICK ME 

I spoke to  owner Anna about  how much I loved Cinema and Co and here’s what she had to say about the recent spate of surf films they have been showing  ,

“I really love everything about the surfing community such lovely people! I’m keen to run monthly surf-related events as it was quite clear from the Proximity evening that there aren’t many social opportunities for surfers to get together and I’d love to be instrumental in providing a regular hang-out”

Please, please  do Anna especially in winter when we are all struggling with the dark nights, when people hibernate and those of us living more rural become a little isolated, when we stop hanging about in the car park for hours, camping or having a fires in the sand dunes after surf , that’s when we will need places like Cinema & Co even more.


Check out Cinema and Co


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